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February 7, 2018 (Council/Committee)

Lori West From: Sent:

Lori West From: Sent: To: Cc: Subject: Communications Thursday, January 25, 2018 1:17 PM Armour, Township of; Bonfield ; Burk's Falls, Village of ; Callander, Municipality of; Calvin, Municipality of; Carling ; Chisholm, Township of; East Ferris, Municipality of ; Joly, Township of; Kearney, Town of; Machar, Township of; Magnetawan, Municipality of ; Mattawa, Town of; Mattawan ; Cindy Vankoughnett; McKellar, Township of; McMurrich/Monteith, Township of; Nipissing, Township of ; North Bay, City of; Papineau-Cameron, Township of; Parry Sound, Town of; Perry, Township of ; Powassan, Municipality of; Ryerson, Township of; Seguin, Township of; South River, Village of ; Strong, Township of ; Sundridge, Village of ; The Archipelago, Township of; West Nipissing, Municipality of; West Nipissing, Municipality of ; Whitestone, Municipality of Communications News Release - Local Data Shows Healthy Food Out of Reach for Many in our Community According to the 2017 Cost of Healthy Eating Report, it costs a local family of four $879 a month to eat a basic healthy diet. For those living with low incomes, there may not be enough money left at the end of the month to get by after paying for rent and food, let alone the other costs of living such as heat, hydro, transportation, telephone, and child care. “When you don’t have enough money to buy food it impacts your health and well‐being,” says Erin Reyce, Public Health Dietitian at the Health Unit. “Being food insecure increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. Higher incomes will help prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health care spending.” Reyce says the minimum wage increase is a step in the right direction, but more policy measures are needed to reduce poverty rates, particularly for those receiving social assistance. For example, a single 40 year old man receiving Ontario Works has a monthly income of $806.00. If he pays $568 in rent for a bachelor apartment, and $294.61 for healthy food, he would be in debt by $56.61 per month. This man may be forced to turn to food charity programs like a food bank or soup kitchen to make ends meet. While these programs provide an important service to the community, they do not address the root of the problem which is poverty. The Health Unit continues to be vocal about the need for increased incomes to reduce food insecurity. Recently, they provided feedback to the Ministry of Community and Social Services on a report which outlines a plan for income security reform in Ontario. They also partnered with the Nipissing Area Food Roundtable and the Parry Sound Area Food Collaborative to host food insecurity forums in North Bay and Parry Sound. You can take action on food insecurity by: Learning more about the cost of healthy eating. Check out the 2017 Cost of Healthy Eating Report, which provides an essential snapshot of food insecurity locally. Understanding and sharing the messages outlined in the report will help break down myths about people living in poverty. Talk to your MP and MPP about the importance of policy initiatives that increase incomes, such as a basic income for all, increased social assistance rates, and more secure job opportunities with benefits. Signing your local food charter, and staying up‐to‐date on food related initiatives happening in your community by visiting nipissingareafood.ca or parrysoundareafood.com For more information about food insecurity and to view the report, visit our website at myhealthunit.ca/costofhealthyeating. 1

Quick Facts The Health Unit monitors food affordability annually through the Nutritious Food Basket project. Grocery stores across the district are surveyed for the cost of select food items consistent with Canada’s Food Guide. The cost of healthy eating is then compared to local rent rates and various income scenarios. In Ontario, 64% of households who rely on social assistance experience food insecurity. 1 in 8 Ontario households struggle to put food on the table, even though 59% of these households have income from employment. Approximately 75% of food insecure households do not use food banks. Those who do use food banks are not more food secure than those who don’t. – 30 – Media Inquiries Jolinne Kearns, Public Relations Specialist P: 705‐474‐1400, ext.2221 or 1‐800‐563‐2808 E: communications@healthunit.ca This message, including any attachments, is privileged and intended only for the person(s) named above. This material may contain confidential or personal information subject to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act. Any other distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient or have received this message in error, please notify me immediately by telephone, fax or e-mail and permanently delete the original transmission, including any attachments, without making a copy. Thank you (v2) 2